Southern Lights: Easier, Lighter, and Better-for-You Recipes from the South

Gibbs Smith. Jun. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781423661474. $30. COOKING
Based in Charleston, SC, food blogger McDuffie (Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest) offers updates to Southern cooking with health and wellness in mind. Though this cooking style has a reputation for being heavy and fried, McDuffie propounds that its true roots rely on garden-fresh ingredients. In the “Southern Exchange” section, suggestions are made for swapping out traditional staples with more wholesome alternatives, such as using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. “Fridge Door Things” follows with flavor boosters to make and keep on hand. The next 10 cleverly worded “Lights” chapters (Break Lights, snacks; Night Lights, dinner; Holiday Lights, celebrations) make up the bulk of the book. Look for exciting, reimagined Southern classics such as the recipe for three green tomatoes, a replacement for fried green tomatoes, which calls for searing sliced tomatoes in a dry skillet with no breading and adding a punch of flavor with vinegary green-tomato relish and crispy shallots. Another Southern mainstay, pulled pork, gets a vegetarian makeover in pulled BBQ spaghetti-squash sandwiches. This well-photographed volume ends with a complete index.
VERDICT Give this to readers who enjoy fresh takes on cooking. Recommended for all libraries.
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